Wik­iLeaks source Chelsea Man­ning re­leased

New Straits Times - - World -

KANSAS: Chelsea Man­ning, the trans­gen­der army pri­vate jailed for one of the largest leaks of clas­si­fied doc­u­ments in United States his­tory, walked out of a mil­i­tary prison yes­ter­day af­ter seven years be­hind bars.

In July 2010, Man­ning, then a male sol­dier known as Bradley, was ar­rested over the re­lease of a huge trove of more than 700,000 clas­si­fied mil­i­tary and diplo­matic doc­u­ments via Wik­iLeaks.

Yes­ter­day, Man­ning left the prison bar­racks at Fort Leav­en­worth here thanks to a com­mu­ta­tion of her sen­tence by Barack Obama be­fore he left of­fice.

With­out Obama’s part­ing gift, Man­ning, who served as an in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cial in Iraq, would have re­mained be­hind bars un­til 2045, af­ter serv­ing a 35-year sen­tence.

Man­ning’s de­fence team is in­tent on pro­tect­ing her.

Man­ning had a dif­fi­cult child­hood.

She had to re­press her sex­u­al­ity and was mocked for her ef­fem­i­nate ways.

There­fore, the mil­i­tary is keen on keep­ing her re­lease lowkey.

Ahead of Man­ning’s re­lease, a group of mu­si­cians re­leased a com­pi­la­tion al­bum with all pro­ceeds to go to the for­mer sol­dier as she starts a new life.

Hugs for Chelsea, a dig­i­tal al­bum avail­able for a US$25 (RM108) do­na­tion, fea­tures tracks by artistes known for their left-wing ac­tivism in­clud­ing Rage Against the Ma­chine gui­tarist Tom Morello and Sonic Youth co-founder Thurston Moore.

Chelsea Man­ning

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